By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is requesting a P6.77-billion budget for his office in 2019, higher than the P6.03 billion allocation this year.
Of the Office of the President’s (OP) proposed new appropriations, P5.18 billion will be allocated to maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE), P1.07 billion to personnel services and P511 million to capital outlay.
The President’s proposed intelligence expenses remained unchanged at P1.25 billion and confidential expenses stayed at P1.25 billion.
Under maintenance and other operating expenses, the President’s professional services increased to P386 million in 2019 from P302 million this year while his representation allocation jumped to P357 million from P153 million.
Also receiving higher budget proposal are repairs and maintenance (P257 million from P197 million), supplies and materials (P254 million from P128 million), communication (P140 million from P102 million), rent/lease (P143 million from P111 million) and utility (P132 million from P103 million).
The OP’s travel funds, on the other hand, was reduced to P795 million in 2019 from the P884-million budget this year.
The executive branch has submitted the proposed P3.757 trillion national budget to Congress during President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address last week for its approval.
Malacañang earlier said the passage of the 2019 national budget was a test of the new leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.